Swimming is a water activity done mostly for sport or recreation purposes. In scientific terms, swimming is described as an activity to create self-thrust by body movements for creating motion in a liquid which most commonly is water. Swimming is done for various purposes which mainly includes exercise, sport, recreation and even for survival.
As a matter of fact, swimming is one of the most popular recreational activities in the world. In many countries, swimming is promoted very actively and in a few countries “swimming lessons” have been added as compulsory part of the education curriculum. The popularity of swimming is not just limited to recreational activities only. Swimming is also one of the most popular sports in the world especially in the Olympics which are held once in every four years.
Interesting Fact: Legend says that camels are the only land mammals that do not possess the ability to swim! (Bet you didn’t knew it)
Unlike other sports, there are many ways by which a person can swim. These different ways of swimming are referred to as swimming strokes.
There are a lot of swimming strokes that a swimmer can learn. Most popular swimming strokes are freestyle stroke, butterfly stroke, breaststroke, backstroke, and sidestroke. Swimming is not limited to these strokes only but these are usually the ones that most swimmers follow. Other swimming strokes are trudgen, dog paddle, snorkeling, turtle stroke, elementary backstroke, and gliding.
#1. Front Crawl Aka The Freestyle Stroke
This is one of the most popular swimming strokes in the world and this is the stroke which most swimmers follow and perform. In terms of speed, this is the fastest swimming stroke.
In order to do freestyle swimming, you need to kick hard on the water with your feet with alternative arm movement above the water. These set of moments if performed correctly gains you a high-speed flow/motion in the water.
Ideally, you should keep your body as straight as possible in order to achieve max speed as well as efficiency.
#2. Butterfly Stroke
Butterfly stroke is the most graceful swimming stroke to watch on the other hand it is the most joyful swimming stroke for the swimmer.
In order to obtain flow/motion in water using this technique, you need to bring your arms above water and over your head at the same time and then push your arms back in the water with force for a forward movement. The legs perform a dolphin kick simultaneously.
In terms of speed, it comes right after the freestyle stroke. In actual, it is quite hard to learn this stroke because of the complexities involved and use of an immense amount of body energy. But once you learn it then you won’t like to go for any other!
You will be surprised to know that breaststroke is the most popular style of swimming of all times. It is one of the easiest and quickest strokes to learn. It is performed underwater and to follow this technique you need to keep your arms underwater and bring in synchronous movement with your legs doing a whip kick that is frog style kick.
Beginners usually start up with this stroke at first because it is pretty easy to learn and it can be done by keeping your head above water at all, times. So, it is beneficial for those who find it hard to do bubbling and have breathing issues.
In terms of speed, breaststroke is the slowest of all. However, speed can be gained by bringing in perfection to this technique and using in-out motion of the head in water instead of keeping it elevated at all times.
As the name suggests, this swimming stroke is done on the back instead of the front. It is completely similar to the front crawl or the freestyle swimming stroke. The only difference is that what you are doing in front is to be done on the back now.
It is highly beneficial for people who suffer from back problems on a regular basis as it strengthens your back muscles and increases flexibility as well. In fact, it is one of the best workouts for the back.
In terms of speed this swimming, strokes lie somewhat in between the butterfly and breaststroke. It is faster than the breaststroke but doesn’t beat the butterfly stroke.
Sidestroke is one of the ancient techniques of swimming that is being used for a really long time. Surprisingly, sidestroke is not used in competitions but it is highly popular in the eyes of swimmers as it is easy to do and is really beneficial for rescuing a person in the water who doesn’t know swimming.
This stroke calls for bringing in the movement of your arms as if you were pulling a rope with tremendous force. This will bring a sort of floating movement on the side and will also provide you motion. It also enables you to glide in between strokes which are quite beneficial if you are tugging a person or a thing alongside.
It is widely used by lifeguards to rescue victims of swimming.
How To Swim? (For Dummies!)
Swimming is a fun sport as well as a recreational activity. It seems highly attractive when you see swimming for the first time because it gives you a pleasure to move in a surrounding different from usual.
However, swimming is not a thing that anyone can do.
There have been many fiercely bad cases of beginners and novices getting drowned or almost drowned. So, in order to proceed further, you should first know the perfect approach for swimming and when you should start doing it on your own.
Follow these steps to learn swimming and know how to swim in 30 days or less!
- First and foremost step that you should take for learning swimming is get yourself some quality supplies. You should hit the stores for a swimming outfit, a swimming cap, a pair of earplugs and swimming goggles.
- Once you have gotten yourself all the supplies stated above it’s now time to do some quality research. You need to find an experienced and a highly skilled instructor in order to learn swimming in the best possible manner. It is a highly crucial that you find a good instructor because he will lay down your foundation in swimming. So do triple checks before you make a decision in this step.
- Now, it is possible that you may not be able to find a quality instructor due to some personal reasons or some external factors. If this happens then make sure that you follow this small guide step by step in order to learn an ideal way of swimming on your own. Remember that it will be a bit hard for you to proceed on your own but it’s not impossible to do!
- Before you begin to learn swimming in actual you first need to prepare a perfect mindset for it. This mindset is made when you let go of the fear of water from your mind. Always stay confident and tell yourself that it’s just a piece of cake in front of you and you can do it no matter what. If nothing works then make sure you learn swimming in a pool that has a lifeguard available on duty or do it with a friend who knows at least basic swimming so that he can help you out if anything goes wrong.
- In the beginning get yourself in the swimming pool at a place where the water level is at least 1 foot below your height. At that place get yourself familiarized with what it feels like in water, underwater, making movements in water etc. Spend a couple of days doing this.
- Once you get fully familiarized about how your body feels like in water then it’s time to move one step ahead. The first step to learning any swimming stroke is to learn how to do bubbling. Bubbling is referred to as the way that is used to breathe in swimming. Suck in as much air as you can from your mouth when elevated above the water and then release out this air underwater from your nose. That is how bubbling is done when you are learning how to swim.
- You need to spend at least 1-week practicing bubbling only. It is highly crucial that you master this skill because it is the foundation for all the swimming strokes.
- After you have mastered bubbling it’s time to move one step ahead. Now, you need to learn how to float. When you are in the pool get on one of its sides and hold onto it. Leave your body at total rest without even reflexing a single muscle. Automatically your legs will come up to the surface of the water. This is what we call floating.
- In short, swimming is all about doing different body movements while floating in water and bubbling is used to breathe in water for underwater strokes. Now, it’s time you learn kicking in the water. When you are in the rest position with your body floating try to kick your legs in the surface water as hard and fast as possible. This is what kicking is all about for learning swimming. Spend at least one week practicing it along with bubbling simultaneously. Remember you need to do kicking and bubbling at the same time.
- Once you have mastered the skill of floating, bubbling and kicking then you are all set to learn various swimming strokes. First of all, we will start with the basic swimming stroke that is the front crawl or the freestyle swimming stroke. I suggest you use a kickboard at the start. Assume the kickboard as the side of the pull and hold onto it and perform kicking. This will gain you motion. Practice it for at least 3 days after you learn it starting with covering the width and then the length of the pool.
- It’s time to lose the kickboard and use your hands to swim once you have learned swimming using a floater. Freestyle swimming is pretty simple if you can easily swim using a floater. All you got to do is perform the same kicking and bubbling and use an alternative arm movement to gain motion. Curve your hand a bit as if you were using it to push back the water. Breathe in from your mouth when you bring one of the arms up and release it in the water when you put it back in the water for gaining motion with kicking simultaneously at all times. Frankly, that is all in the freestyle swimming stroke.
- Mostly freestyle swimming is enough for most swimmers but if you have a great interest in it then there are many swimming strokes which you can learn. Remember that the concept of “How To Swim” is not limited to just the freestyle swimming stroke. You can go ahead to learn butterfly stroke, backstroke, sidestroke and breaststroke too once you become perfect in freestyle swimming. Learning these strokes will need an intense willpower, determination, patience, and hard work. Tutorials for these swimming strokes are also covered in depth here and you can browse the site to learn these strokes as well.
Learning how to swim can be a tough job if you are just starting out and that too all on your own. However, if you are aware of in’s and out’s of swimming then your job can become a lot easier to do.
Read the following “swimming tips” carefully to learn how to swim without facing any hardships whatsoever.
- Just like any other sport always remember that you need to stay calm at all times. There is no need to panic if you are unable to learn a couple of things and neither is there in any need of rushing things.
- Never ever go to the pool without wearing your complete swimming costume. The water in the swimming pool contains chlorine which is harmful to your skin as well as for hair. So stay covered up as much as possible.
- This sport calls for practice and technique perfection. A slight error can make you pay big time. So whenever you learn something new make sure that your technique is perfect and then proceed on to the next step.
- For a beginner, the best stroke to start out is the freestyle swimming stroke. Do not opt for any other no matter what others say to you. It will be very easy to learn other strokes once you get your hands right on the freestyle stroke.
- Warming up and stretching is an ideal thing to do before swimming. Get familiar with swimming workouts and do a couple of them before you hit the pool.
- Bubbling, kicking and floating are the foundation of your swimming skills. The more good you get at it the better you will be able to swim. This is the golden rule of swimming.
- Diving although is intimidating but should never be done unless you get perfect in floating and are able to swim underwater easily. Without mastering these skills the probability of drowning is much high.
- A shower before and after swimming is crucial. Never hit the pool without completing this step.
- Understand the concept of streamlines and bring it into your swimming in order to swim faster and have an edge over other swimmers.
- Lastly, you need to understand that insomnia, disappointments and over thinking is all natural and a part of your journey. Always remember giving up is just not an option for you. You have to finish what you have started no matter how hard it gets.
Benefits Of Swimming
Apart from being a joyful activity swimming also provides a lot of benefits. In fact, research has shown that swimming is one of those activities which are an all-rounder when it comes to health benefits. The benefits of swimming are just ideal for maintaining an optimum physical and mental state.
- Swimming helps tremendously to lower stress levels of the body. It increases self-esteem and fills in confidence in you. It is an ultimate mood refresher just like some good music.
- If you are a fitness freak then swimming is one sport that you definitely shouldn’t miss. Swimming strengthens your muscles greatly especially the leg muscles.
- Unlike most of the sports, swimming is sweat free. This has positive aspects as well as negative aspects too. But if you are a person who doesn’t like sweat then swimming is just the sport for you.
- Swimming has proven to minimize the probabilities of a person to fall sick. It boosts your immunity levels and raises your stamina to a whole new level.
- For a person sensitive to heart diseases, swimming is greatly beneficial. It increases blood flow in the body and keeps your heart and lungs healthy.
- Swimming helps in improving the flexibility of your body as well as provides you an ideal body posture and stability.
With that being said it is quite clear that swimming is one of the best recreational activity or sport that you can enjoy along with providing immense health benefits to your body.